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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Meets Spirituality

Have you ever considered what it means to have a soul? We use the word all the time – “soul food,” “it speaks to my soul,” “my soulmate” – but what are we actually talking about?

There is a vast and limitless space beyond the mind that exists in all of us. The space that holds our awareness of this human experience witnesses the constant activity of the mind and carries the truth of what it means to be alive. The part of us is beyond the ability to put into words – far too expansive to be confined by language alone. Some say the soul is our intimate knowing of God, infinity, or pure consciousness – all of which can be used interchangeably in my understanding of them. However, the true nature of our soul resides in our hearts and is the expression of love. Therefore every human yearns to love and be loved from the time they are born.

What can we do with this information, and how does it relate to mental health, and more specifically – to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

CBT tells us that our mind has habitual, conditioned thinking patterns resulting from life experiences, coping/defense mechanisms, and brain chemistry. These can be rewired to have healthier thoughts (and, therefore, healthier behaviors). These are mechanisms of the mind – also known as the ego- and we become so identified with it that many of us have lost touch with who we truly are – our soul.

Being overly identified with the mind/ego means that we are attached – and therefore severely affected by the workings of our mind. We often believe our thoughts are the truth – and this alone can cause significant distress, anxiety, and depression.

persons arm reaching for sun aura

If we can tap into this much deeper, quieter, more peaceful place and see life through the lens of the soul, the perception of our problems becomes transformed. We can see the absurdity of our mind (at times) and meet it with curiosity, compassion, and even chuckle at the way it plays tricks on us. Connecting to this lens allows us to have distance from our thoughts. This distance enables objectivity in viewing ourselves and the world around us. It allows for a deeper understanding of our purpose in life – as humans on this earth. Tapping into and living from this space gives us respite from our overactive, often reactive minds.

How do I get there?

Getting quiet through meditation, mindfulness, and walks in nature are some ways to experience life from your soul. Noticing your thoughts and challenging yourself to detach – or even better - remain unattached - to them. Rest in the space of being the witness of your mind rather than being swept away by it. Notice the things that genuinely “feed your soul” – the things that ignite passion and compassion, creativity, joy - and do more of those things. Get to know – and trust – the instincts of your heart.

These are just a few ways to get quiet and connect with yourself. If you’re interested in exploring this further, we offer appointments to help you reconnect with your soul. We would love to help you find the peace and happiness of living life from your authentic self.

woman being meditating on beach

Contact Kathleen

Kathleen Mack, MSW, LCSW

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Kathleen Mack, MSW, LCSW

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